The drastic rise in the number of anarchist squats in abandoned homes in the Exarchia district of Athens is fueling concern among local residents who say police appear unwilling or unable to intervene.
“[Police] told us that they have been informed about the issue and that they are giving time to owners to state, in written form, whether they are for or against the squat, before they intervene,” one local told Kathimerini Thursday.
Residents say the youngsters, who describe themselves as anarchists, are using the squats to spread their anti-establishment rhetoric and that they usually target buildings or homes whose owners have died and there are no claims by beneficiaries, as was the case with a property on Kallidromiou Street last week, which became the latest addition to the growing list of squats.
The house was taken over by a group – which goes by the name of Anarchist Collective for the Reconstruction of the Proletariat – which raised a black flag and a banner that urged “class solidarity and a proletarian counterattack against the state.”
The group distributed flyers Thursday which called local residents to a meeting today. The flyers also explained that they chose Exarchia for their squat because, they said, it was the stage of important political moments in Greek history like the Polytechnic uprising in 1973 and various anti-establishment movements.
Local residents, however, say they are alarmed by the fact that they do not what goes on in the occupied properties, saying that the windows are always shut and the buildings bolted with iron bars.